Tag Archives: Peat

Bart’s Blended Irish Whiskey, 46%

My 1st encounter with Bart’s Whiskey – a core release blend for Lough Ree Distillery in advance of their own distillate – was in the comfort & warmth of Skelly’s Bar Ballymahon.

Sitting by an open turf fire I found Bart’s to be clean & fresh with a lively citrusy nose.

A smooth silky mouthfeel with touches of oiliness warmed to me.

Delightful soft kisses of smoky turf on the finish left an engaging dry spiciness melting away.

A highly entertaining & complex whiskey!

The following week found me in possession of a bottle with the chance to explore further.

Meeting Bart’s in Skelly’s had already won me over – but the additional information only confirmed this.

Complete with QR code for all the geeks out there – a lovely passage honoured the memory of Lough Ree Distillery’s founders father Bart.

A component breakdown of the blend explained my brief tasting notes.

Clean & fresh’ equates to non chill filtered & natural colour.

The high – & probably youthful – grain percentage explains ‘lively’.

The pot still ‘oiliness’ is evident.

But the crowning glory – for my palate anyway – is undoubtedly the rye cask & peated malt giving those ‘smoky kisses’ & ‘dry spice’ on the gorgeous finish.

Some demand such information on the bottle.

For me it’s an optional extra & an additional selling point.

Even if all the label stated was ‘Bart’s Irish Whiskey’ – my palate told me this is a damn fine whiskey!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Sheep Dip Islay, Blended Malt, 40%

Sheep Dip’s an old friend of mine.

The tongue-in-cheek name attracted me to this blended malt & was rewarded with an easy going honeyed experience augmented by a rich maltiness.

An Islay version caught my eye – a kind reader generously sent a sample.

The peat smoke was evident – but rather subdued.

More entertaining on the palate. Crisp, sweet & drying.

It’s on the finish that Islay Sheep Dip came alive for me. A gorgeous explosion of smokey goodness danced merrily away to a lip smacking finalé.

Nice!

Another entertaining brand from the Ian MacLeod stable.

Sláinte

Islay bottle image courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop. All others authors own.

An Fear Grinn, Móinteach, Single Malt, 46%

Having moved house during the pandemic this generous sample from the good people at An Fear Grinn almost went missing.

Móinteach time! c/othewhiskeynut

Luckily the new owners of my old abode kindly informed me of the package & it duly graced my happy hands.

What a delight it proved to be!

Móinteach – roughly translates as peaty – exhibited those lovely rich smokey aromas I adore.

Clean & clear – yet not overpowering.

The palate was milder & sweeter than nosing suggested.

Móinteach came alive on the finish for me.

A gorgeous drying out, tingling sensation – reminding me of the warm glow from the fading embers of a hearty fire wrapping me in it’s comforting embrace.

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Móinteach – my kinda whiskey!

Two Tastings of Two Stacks, The First Cut, Blend, 43%

My first encounter with Two Stacks was in a blind tasting.

Devoid of any prior knowledge my brief assessment of this ‘Complex Blend’ was as follows;

Complex Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Neutral on the nose, soft & subtle.

Not giving much away on the palate, mellow easy drinking.

Nice flavours on the finish, intriguing.

I was surprised to find out it was Two Stacks, The First Cut. Mainly as I’d heard the blend contained a peated element – which I’d failed to detect.

My second encounter with Two Stacks was from an actual bottle.

On the back label is the blending mix & yes – peat does feature, but at only 2% – it clearly wasn’t enough to grab my palate.

Back label info c/othewhiskeynut

Having all the information & a longer time to engage with the whiskey did slightly alter the experience.

A mere hint of smoke just pushed through on the nose – although the mild mellow softness still dominated.

The finish left me with a dry tingling – often a reaction I get from peated whiskey. At only 2% however it was a gentle suggestion & I’d probably be happier with a 20% hit.

Two Stacks in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

Interestingly another drinker had a heightened reaction against the peat – even at such a low concentration it was still overpowering.

Others I know detect sulphur from sherry casks in small amounts too.

My palate seems to be the opposite in that I need bigger percentages & bolder flavours to grab my attention.

As it is, The First Cut is a well put together blend.

Nice easy drinking – & while the peated element does add some character – it’s just not enough to excite my palate.

Sláinte

High Coast Hav vs High Coast Timmer, Single Malts, 48%

My first encounter with High Coast – or Box as they were originally known – happened to be in Gothenburg Airport.

Delightful Dálvve c/othewhiskeynut

A gorgeous smokey malt indeed.

Now rebranded as High Coast – would this duo from The Origins Series deliver?

Hav c/oHighCoast

Hav, 48%

Gentle clean smoke.

Lovely mouthfeel – like sitting beside a warm open fire – followed by a gorgeously tingling spicy dry finish which just excites my palate.

Simply divine.

Timmer c/oHighCoast

Timmer, 48%

More of a mossy kind of smokiness.

There’s a depth & complexity to the mouthfeel before a delightful explosion of smoke embraces you like a long lost friend.

Hygge in a bottle.

Fabulous c/othewhiskeynut

High Coast supply a whole heap of information via their website – but information alone is no substitute for an enjoyable tasting.

This pair of Swedish Malts are simply fabulous.

Mourne DEW Miniature Pack, 40% to 43%.

When a particular distillery’s output wins 2 blind tasting sessions – you take notice.

Both Mourne DEW’s Blend and Single Malt stood out for me,

Tasty trio c/othewhiskeynut

So I purchased their miniature set to try them out side by side.

The Kilbroney Gin went down well with my better half,

Kilbroney c/othewhiskeynut

Allowing me to concentrate on the others!

Pooka Poitín, 43%

Pooka c/othewhiskeynut

The colour immediately intrigued me. A pale straw hue – similar to the whiskeys – obviously a bit of barrel ageing going on – 10 weeks is allowed.

An entertaining floral note greeted me – with a hint of woody smoke. Oily smooth mouthfeel with enticing flavours. A touch of nuttiness on the finish topped off with a pleasing drying prickleness.

A rather unique poitín offering – very happy with this one!

Mourne DEW Blend, 40%

Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Like encountering an old friend!

A clean & fresh nose, smooth honeyed palate drying out towards the finish leaving with a tingling spiciness.

A characterful little number!

Mourne DEW Single Malt, 43%

Single Malt c/othewhiskeyut

Just a word on the colour – of the 3 – it appears the palest!

Clearly no caramel here & a relatively young malt – which works well for a peater – as the nose brings me back to sitting by an open turf fire!

What can I say about this one?

A delightfully young & vibrant peater – loved it!

Thoughts

For a small distillery nestled on the pretty banks of Carlingford Lough in Warrenpoint – Mourne DEW are releasing a flavourful range of spirits to charm & entertain.

Happy drinking! c/othewhiskeynut

The Essence Of Mourne – works wonders for me!

Sláinte

The Onward Rise Of Japanese Whisky

Japanese Whisky has seen remarkable growth over the last few years – around 9.4% annually according to some sources – making it one of the fastest expanding categories in the world.

This in itself has sparked further interest – as well as criticism.

Such criticism often took the form of ‘not playing by the rules’ – Scotch rules that is.

But then that’s precisely why I – and many others perhaps – are attracted to Japanese Whisky – it’s not Scotch!

Japanese Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

To begin with are the variety of attractively labelled & intricately designed bottles. Then there’s the blending, distilling & maturation techniques that wouldn’t be allowed under Scotch rules. Not forgetting the most important factor – fabulous taste!

I’ve always been of the view that Japanese Whisky played by different rules – which have worked very well for them – and accepted as given a bottle labelled as Japanese Whisky may not have contained 100% Japanese distillate.

But the wider world is not me – so Japan has now brought in a set of rules.

They’re a rather simple & easy framework stipulating the raw materials, production methods & maturation times used. Most importantly it states Japanese Whisky must be distilled, matured & bottled in Japan to be labelled as such.

Nikka have already indicated brands in their current range compliant with the rules & can therefore be labelled ‘Japanese Whisky’ – as well as those now heretofore ‘Whisky’.

Nikka Days is one such ‘Whisky’.

Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

I found it a lovely simple yet elegantly balanced soft peater.

It’ll be interesting to see how the sales of such offerings will proceed under the new rules – or rather – as I suspect – Nikka will increase capacity to incorporate such brands into the ‘Japanese Whisky’ category.

A taste comparison between the current bottle and that of any future release will be an exciting prospect – but one I think will not yield much discernible difference.

I’ll have a Nikka. c/othewhiskeynut

With 100 years experience I’m sure Japanese distillers are capable of replicating the entertaining tastes & flavours I enjoy.

There is one potential loser in this however.

Scotch.

Scotch Whisky has for years built up a sizeable business supplying bulk whisky to various countries who then use it to augment their own spirits.

It’s a perfectly legitimate business – but one that now appears to be in jeopardy.

Such are the swings & roundabouts of the whisky business.

Sláinte

Header image courtesy cityam.

Penderyn Icon Of Wales #6, Royal Welsh Whisky, 43%

Penderyn flies the flag for Welsh Whisky.

Along with a solid core range of single malts to suit all palates,

The Icon Of Wales series continues to highlight aspects of ‘Welshness’ be it in culture, politics, sports or history.

A good whisky doesn’t last for long! c/othewhiskeynut

Attracted to the initial #1 Red Flag release,

It’s always a joy to encounter the latest offering.

Royal Welsh Whisky caught my eye at the lovely Fife Whisky Festival last year.

Royal Welsh Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

Based on an original bottle from the Frongoch Distillery – later to become Frongoch Interment Camp for Irish Republican prisoners – Royal Welsh Whisky exhibits a flavour profile pleasing to my palate – peat.

The historical connections, revival of Welsh Whisky & gorgeous smokey notes all make for a winner to me.

Iechyd dda!